Annabel Sowemimo, author of Divided: Racism, Medicine and Why We Need to Decolonise Healthcare recommends a critical collection of books! Before jumping into the interview, please check out Annabel's book:
Q. Do you have a favourite smart thinking book (and why that book)?
I have many but I think bell hooks Sister of the Yam: Black Women and Self Recovery had a very profound effect on me. I read it about a decade ago and at the time I was feeling tired. I think when you are committed to change particularly issues of social justice, often your own needs become marginalised. It can take a physical and emotional toll. It serves as a reminder that if I am going to continue doing the work that I believe needs to be done then I also need to be equally as diligent in centring pleasure and joy in my life.
Q. What's the most recent smart thinking book you've read (and how would you rate it)?
I have recently been reading Sara Ahmed’s The Feminist Killjoy Handbook and so much of it resonates with me. She highlights how problematic institutions are preserved, how if you raise a problem, rather than the problem being addressed, you then become the problem that needs to be addressed. It is a book of gems. There is such power in sharing your experiences.
Q. Do you have a favourite childhood book?
I really loved Elmer the Elephant. My mum is a trained primary school teacher so, we had a lot of children’s books at home. I had never really thought of the deeper significance of Elmer being multi-coloured and be ostracised. I just knew that Elmer was colourful, and I loved that.
Q. Do you prefer reading on paper, Kindle or listening to an audiobook?
I really like holding a book in my hand, I am a big note taker and enjoy the act of highlighting and marking my books. As an adult, I learnt that I am dyslexic which makes a lot of sense because looking at screens for prolonged periods has always been very challenging for me.
Q. Do you have a favourite bookshop (and why that shop)?
I’m going to have to give you two! Housmans is a non for profit, radical bookstore in King’s cross that has existed since 1945. I used to live in King’s cross as a student and they have so many great book events. Then there is Waterstone’s Gower Street, it is in the heart of student territory, and I spent several years studying and meeting friends there. When I was stressed about medical exams, I would wander in and look through the shelves and I have a lot of great memories in that building .
Many thanks to Annabel for recommending a critical collection of books! Please don't forget to check out Divided: Racism, Medicine and Why We Need to Decolonise Healthcare.
Image Copyrights: Profile Books Ltd (Divided), Routledge (Sisters of the Yam), Penguin Books Ltd (The Feminist Killjoy Handbook), Elmer (Random House Children's Publishers UK).